There is something awful about having a feeling that you can’t express. A feeling that something is not right. That it could be different. That it could be better.
It’s like that feeling that you forgot something important, like someone’s birthday, or an idea you had in a dream. When you try to find it, it eludes you. You just can’t remember, but you know it’s there, something, and it nags at you. It makes it hard to concentrate. Other things just don’t seem very important. You can’t work. You can’t play.
But ultimately, the feeling is just a feeling. Or maybe it’s a belief. Or a suspicion. Or a sense of frustration. A sense that something is wrong. You try to forget about it. You try to go about your routine. But it comes back. When you wake up. While you’re showering or eating breakfast. During a lull. Or right before going to sleep.
Sometimes something triggers it, but you don’t know why. An article you’re reading. A memo from your boss. Something someone says offhandedly in conversation. A billboard. A joke on a TV show. It could be anything.
And there you are again. With that feeling. That something is wrong. And that you should do something about it. But you don’t know what. And you don’t know how. And there is no one you can talk to who understands. Everything thinks you’re crazy or just some jerk who talks about weird things or is always criticizing everything, even though he has no answers or ideas, and just talks about depressing shit.
And so you feel shitty, because they’re right. But you can’t do anything about it. The feeling remains. It won’t go away. The sense of wrongness, that something needs to be changed, to be fixed, to be understood, is like a cloud over everything.
Maybe you’re just mentally ill. Maybe you are depressed. Maybe you are delusional. Maybe you just have a few wires crossed. Maybe you’re projecting. Maybe you’re too imaginative, or not imaginative enough, or you’re some kind of stupid idealist, or you believe in some fantasy you haven’t admitted and grown out of, or you’re suffering from PTSD or some imaginary grievance from your childhood, or maybe you’re just confused.
Why shouldn’t you be confused? The world is confusing. Who can understand it.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? All those people who don’t want to listen to your nonsense: they all think that they understand the world. Not that they know everything that there is to know, but that they know how it works, how the pieces are arranged, what’s real and what’s not, what matter and what doesn’t, and how to live a good life and be a good person. That part is easy. It’s obvious to them. And if you say they’re wrong, then something must be wrong with you.
Maybe they’re right. Or maybe you’re right. You won’t know unless you try to find out. If there is something wrong, if there is a way to fix it, you’ll just have to keep trying. You may have to die trying. And maybe that’s tragic, or maybe it’s just sad. A billion people wish they could change the world. They’re all just experiments. You’re an experiment. An accident. An accidental experiment. An experimental accident. No one cares if you fail. Statistically, everyone fails. They only care if you succeed.
Chances are, you won’t ever figure out what’s wrong. Or what’s right. Or how to change anything. It’s a one in a billion shot. But you just have to take it. It’s better to fail than to lie to yourself. It’s better to burn out than to sell out. It’s better to admit you don’t know than pretend. It’s better to face reality on your own terms, and suffer the consequences, than to be someone else’s puppet.
The world is full of puppets. Soldiers in someone else’s army. Robots on someone else’s assembly line. Extras in someone else’s story. Is that who you want to be?
Of course it’s nice to be wanted. It’s nice to belong. But if you don’t belong, there’s no point pretending. If you have to go it alone, or if the path leads over rocks or through the desert, there’s nothing for it. If it’s not their path, then no one else can join you.
In the meantime, you’ll just have to keep going. To keep searching. For the reason. For the answer. For the words.